Connecticut HS Hockey – Division 1 Semifinals: Top-Seed Notre Dame, #2 Fairfield Prep Will Meet For State Title

Doug Bonjour
Doug Bonjour
Doug Bonjour joined Hockey Night in Boston in November 2022. He has covered high school and college sports in Connecticut for more than a decade, including stints as the UConn women’s basketball and UConn football beat reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media. During his time reporting on the 11-time national champion Huskies, he covered three NCAA Final Fours. He previously was a general assignment reporter for GameTimeCT and the Connecticut Post, and covered high school sports statewide, including boys hockey. Prior to that he was the managing/sports editor for the Westport News and Norwalk Citizen community weekly newspapers. He also has written for the Associated Press and New York Times. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2008 with a degree in print journalism.

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The next rendition in the rivalry between perennial powers Notre Dame-West Haven and Fairfield Prep will be for the 2023 CIAC Division 1championship. The top-seeded Green Knights and second-seeded Jesuits will square off in the Division I state title game after scoring victories in Thursday’s semifinal round. Here’s how they got there.

No. 2 seed Fairfield Prep rolls to shutout win

Following a brief hiatus, Fairfield Prep finds itself back in the Division I final. The second-seeded Jesuits shut out No. 11 seed Greenwich 5-0 in the state semifinals on Thursday to move within a win of another championship.

James Murphy Fairfield Prep

Defenseman Greg Hilinski had two goals, and Blake Baksay, James Murphy and Will Huntington rounded out the rest of the scoring for the Jesuits, who led 2-0 after one period and 4-0 after two. James Heber stopped all 17 shots he faced for the shutout. 

Prep will be making its first appearance in the Division I final since 2019, when it beat Notre Dame-West Haven 5-2 for its record 18th state championship. The Jesuits lost in the quarterfinals last season to New Canaan, and the tournament was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re 17-6 under first-year coach Vin O’Hara.

Top-seeded ND-WH edges New Canaan

Teagan Grillo
Notre Dame (WH)

No. 1 seed Notre Dame-West Haven is on the brink of a state title repeat after topping fifth-seeded New Canaan 5-1 in Thursday’s other semifinal. The Green Knights jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Santino Chancio, then pulled away despite a 23-21 deficit in shots. James Mascari added two goals, while Tegan Grillo and Jack Aloi both scored once. Connor Crowley made 23 saves to preserve the lead.

ND-WH is now 18-4-1, but two of those losses came to Prep (5-1 on Feb. 18 and 4-3 in a shootout in the SCC Division I final on March 4). The Green Knights did beat Prep 6-1 in their first meeting this season on Jan. 7. The Green Knights defeated Darien 4-2 in last year’s Division I final for their eighth title.

Division I  Championship 

No. 1 Notre Dame-West Haven (18-4-1) vs. No. 2 Fairfield Prep (17-6), March 22, 7 p.m., Quinnipiac University 

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